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War in Karen Country: Armed Struggle for a Free and Independent Karen State in Southeast Asia Paperback – October 29, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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About the Author

Thomas James Bleming, a Vietnam veteran, is a member of the Karen National Liberation Army and has been appointed consul-general for the Republic of Kawthoolei. His previous book, Panama – Echoes from a Revolution, details his adventures in Panama as a revolutionary and soldier of fortune. He presently lives on a ranch near Lusk, Wyoming.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (October 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595452612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595452613
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,177,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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You wake up tomorrow morning, wander downstairs for coffee and your kitchen is filled with soldiers. They tell you they're building a road through your neighborhood and you and everyone else on the street will be used as slave labor to get the job done. You explain you have other plans for the day so they rape and kill your wife, rape and kill your daughter, then ask if maybe you've changed your mind yet. Deep in shock and unable to speak, you watch as they torture your son, kill your dog and burn your house to the ground.
Welcome to Myanmar, the country formerly know as Burma. With the help of the Indian and Chinese governments, the ruling junta of this delightful little nightmare have transformed their country into a slave labor camp, with job one being the elimination of an ethnic minority knows as the Karen. This is the situation Tom Blemming, an honest-to-God war hero in an undeclared war you may remember from the Johnson and Nixon administrations, travels halfway around the world to investigate.
Blemming is an interesting guy. A man clearly addicted to action and born to soldier, he is apparently unable - or unwilling - after fighting who knows how many conflicts in who knows how many countries, to just frame his medals and drink with the boys at the VFW. After taking a shot at Noriega and doing hard time for revolutionary activity in Panama, we find him, in his mid sixties, crossing into Burma with the Karen National Liberation Army to offer his services to a people on the verge of extinction - just up and decides to join a revolution at an age that finds most men limping down to Social Security to sign up for their monthly government handout.
This guy is his own country. He deserves his own flag, national anthem and Olympic team.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very interesting read.A facinating account of a the sort of war most of us thought consinged to the history books written by an old soldier in the direct language of an old soldier.Every Word rings true.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a must read, as soon as i started reading I struggled to place the book down as I was hooked. The book gives a very true insight into the KNLA, where there is nothing else to match. It also is great into understanding the Karen and there struggle which not to many people are familiar with and more should be aware off. If you are intrested in war, guerilla armys, travel and just good reading this is a must buy.
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Format: Paperback
I have been immersed in research over the past two years regarding Myanmar and its approach to democracy using the roadmap to democracy. This story is only now getting international attention yet many of the finer issues, like the Karen war, are still not being reported on. This book give a very rare glimpse into the worlds longest running civil war. It is a straight to the point account of the authors experiences with the KNLA and filled with useful information on the conflict and the armies fighting it. This book is a harrowing account of a little know war in a little know country that has major consequences in the international stage as the Union of Myanmar opens its doors to the world for the first time since independence.
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A horribly written book on many levels. I read this book, among many dealing with the Karen people during my graduate studies. Furthermore, I have a military background, and was following Mr. Bleming's supposed account of the KNLA using his own "military experiences". It appears this book was written with the sole purpose of self promotion.

The book is poorly written - it's simply written at the level of a grade school child. One doubts Mr. Bleming was even able to complete the third grade, given his writing style.

The story is not about the KNLA, or the Karen people! It's about Bleming's disruption of a complex dynamic that he cannot even begin to fathom. Just some guy looking for his 15 minutes. He is such a discredit to the Karen people and the multitude of aid workers, faith-based-organizations, volunteers, NGOs, etc. that are trying to help them since he promotes the negative stereotype of the wannabe-mercenary, jumping into a situation he doesn't understand, running around the jungle for a day or two with a camera, taking photos, firing a gun into midair to claim he was "fighting", then running out promising the world to them, disappearing off to civilization to a cushy existence, and writing a book about his "mercenary experiences".

Furthermore, Bleming's military account is far from that. It is written by someone who clearly has not served in front line unit, never commanded, planned, strategized, and who has limited, if any actual on-the-ground experience. It's a cute, if not nauseating read created by a wannabe war-hero trying to pull wool over other peoples' eyes.

The story produces absolutely no insight whatsoever into the history, politics, tribal dynamics, etc. of the conflict. It isn't even a good read!
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